The Bronx Defenders

Homicide Investigator (Spanish Speaking)

Posted Date 1 week ago(6/10/2024 2:23 PM)
Job ID
2024-1794
Category
Investigations

Overview

The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an experienced investigator with a commitment to social justice to join our Homicide Practice Group as a Homicide Investigator. 

 

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 450 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, advocates, investigators, and team administrators, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have developed a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for the people we defend.  

 

Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic transformation at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the people we represent and communities that we work with and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change. 

 

Criminal Defense Practice  

 

The Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) at The Bronx Defenders is composed of over 150 attorneys, investigators, social workers, practice associates, and administrators who provide comprehensive criminal defense representation to people in the Bronx facing police and criminal legal system involvement. Through a client-centered approach, our CDP legal teams strive to gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances and priorities of the people we represent. Armed with that understanding, they fight for desired outcomes by strategically raising personalized, persuasive arguments in mitigation, negotiations, and litigation.  

 

Homicide Practice Group 

 

The Homicide Practice Group (HPG) is made up of a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys, social workers, mitigation specialists, and investigators who specialize in homicide cases. Homicide investigators participate in client interviewing, form relationships with the family and friends of the people we represent, collaborate in collecting evidence for mitigation reports to advocate for reduced sentencing, and collaborate with attorneys to discuss how their investigation informs case theory and strategy.

Responsibilities

The Homicide Investigator will work with attorneys and advocates in the Homicide Practice Group (HPG) to defend people accused of homicide offenses in the Bronx. The Homicide Investigator will provide a thorough investigation in each case . About half of the work of homicide investigators does not take place in the office but is carried out in the field: at private homes, in the Bronx community, and in correctional facilities where our incarcerated clients may be detained. As such, investigators must be willing to travel and will be expected to acquire a valid driver’s license if they don’t already have one. 
 

  • Collaborate with attorneys to create a comprehensive investigative strategy 
  • Locate, interview, and take detailed statements from both prosecution and defense witnesses (note that at times you may be asked to interview friends and family of the decedent)  
  • Gather and review time-sensitive video surveillance 
  • Photograph and diagram crime scenes and prepare court room exhibits 
  • Perform Department of Motor Vehicles, public record, social media and criminal background searches 
  • Accurately report to case teams on the content of interviews without the aid of notes 
  • Assist attorneys with case development 
  • Write memoranda regarding investigative efforts and results 
  • Review digital evidence, including but not limited to cellphone extractions, cellphone records, and social media 
  • Review case discovery 
  • Regularly meet with the people we represent, including those who are incarcerated at New York Jails 
  • Work closely with social workers and attorneys to develop mitigation reports 
  • Occasionally testify in court proceedings

Qualifications

To be eligible, applicants must have: 

 

  • A minimum of one year working as an investigator in criminal or civil cases or otherwise relevant experience (e.g., conducting internal investigations for a government agency or corporate entity) 
  • A driver’s license or the ability to acquire one upon hire 
  • Spanish Fluency 

 

Applicants must demonstrate: 
 

  • Experience working in and with racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities targeted by carceral systems 
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people with various backgrounds, identities and experiences 
  • Effective interpersonal skills and ability to connect with reluctant parties 
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in unpredictable environments 
  • Ability to effectively navigate the Bronx community, conduct on-site interviews and visit alleged crime scenes 
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and prioritize effectively in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment 
  • Meticulous attention to detail 
  • Ability to be resourceful and persistent in gathering necessary evidence 
  • Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers 
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, discretion, and confidentiality with sensitive matters 
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback, demonstrate introspection, and shift behavior accordingly 
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level 

 

This is an in-person role that requires contact with staff and community members. The schedule of investigators often varies according to the availability of witnesses. Thus, investigators must be flexible and available to work on the occasional evening or weekend.  

 

Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $57,343- $74,707. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.  

 

Approximately 70% of The Bronx Defenders' staff, including attorneys and non-attorneys, are represented by UAW Local 2325 - Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO). This position is within the bargaining unit.  

 

This position is non-exempt. By law, nonexempt employees are compensated hourly based on their annual rate and therefore are entitled to over-time, whereas exempt employees are not. 

 

To apply, please click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted.  If you would prefer to send in a video or audio statement in lieu of a cover letter, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter if that is more accessible to you. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience, and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered. 

 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified candidate is identified. Please contact Molly Kelleher, Homicide Investigator Supervisor, via email at mokelleher@bronxdefenders.org with any questions regarding the position. 

 

The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent, and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we work with.

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